Jean Tinguely's "Luminator" returns to a public space - thanks to EuroAirport

Jean Tinguely's "Luminator" returns to a public space – thanks to EuroAirport

On Saturday 3rd September 2011, at an official ceremony in the presence of Christoph Brutschin, Vice-President of the Board of Directors of EuroAirport and State Counsellor of the city of Basel, Yves Camier, Sous-Préfet of Altkirch, Matthias M. Baltisberger, manager of the Roche site in Basel and member of the Board of Directors of the Museum Tinguely, together with Roland Wetzel, Director of the Museum Tinguely and Werner Parini, Head of the Airport Terminal Building, inaugurated on the 5th floor of the Airport on the Swiss side, the installation of "Luminator", Jean Tinguely's last work.

On the 20th anniversary of Jean Tinguely's death, EuroAirport has great pleasure in welcoming "Luminator" from the Museum Tinguely; the huge lamp sculpture will be on display to the general public from 4th September for a period of three years.

Mounted on a plinth on the 5th floor of the Airport building in Hall 4, this great illuminated sculpture is 24 metres long and weighs nearly 5 tonnes. Created by Jean Tinguely (1925-1991), one of the most original Swiss artists of the 20th century, "Luminator" was first exhibited at the Basel Fair Hall in June 1991. It was then purchased by the Swiss Bank Association (later to become UBS).
After the death of the artist on 30th August 1991, the illuminated sculpture was installed in the Basel railway station ticket hall as Tinguely had wished while he was alive; it remained on show there for seven years. In 1999, "Luminator" was exhibited at the railway station in Leipzig. In 2005, the UBS Bank donated it to the Museum Tinguely.

Designed by Tinguely to be admired by the public at large, "Luminator" is back again thanks to EuroAirport, this time on French soil in the Swiss sector of the bi-national airport serving three countries. 

The decision to install this great illuminated sculpture at EuroAirport was motivated by several factors:

-  EuroAirport is a public place frequented by over 4 million passengers every year.

-  Tinguely had links with France: he lived in Paris and exhibited several times there. So, installing the last work of this Swiss artist in the Airport is fits well with the bi-national status of EuroAirport.

-  EuroAirport is a gateway allowing the discovery of the cultural treasures of the region, including the Museum Tinguely in Basel.

-  Art brings people together, transcending borders; this fits well with the primary purpose of EuroAirport, which is to enable travellers from several different countries to meet and cross paths every day.

By the end of July 2011, 2.8 million passengers had used EuroAirport (up 27% on the same period the year before). At 62,000 tonnes, freight activities increased by 2%. For the second half of 2011, EuroAirport's management expects a mild drop in this exceptional growth rate, and forecasts ending 2011 with approximately 4.8 million passengers (up 17% on 2010).

EuroAirport currently serves 90 destinations by way of direct scheduled or holiday flights. Moreover, the strong presence of member airlines of Star Alliance, One World and SkyTeam enables EuroAirport to offer, several times a day, intercontinental connections from the main European hubs: Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris, Vienna and Zurich.